Wednesday, February 01, 2006

BJ's Brush-Off

Now that the City Council has blessed the entry of BJ's into the Gateway Mall we can expect that Related will renew its efforts to site the store on Brush Avenue. The fans of the retailer will now argue that since the store has been OKed for the South Bronx there's no reason to oppose it for Soundview/Throggs Neck.

Not so fast. While BJ's was able to sneak in at the 1,000,000 sq. ft mall under the weight of a huge economic boost for the borough (the "rising tide" we talked about), the free standing store on the other site will not be viewed the same way. Much will depend, however, on the steadfastness of the two local council members, Jimmy Vacca and Annabel Palma. It is unlikely that the store will be supported if the two closest council members are opposed.

It will also be intriguing to see what position the speaker takes on this stand-alone store. Quinn relied on UFCW support in her bid to become speaker and, by allowing the BJ's to sneak in at the mall, she severely disappointed her friends. Whither Quinn on Brush?